Historian and Feminist Scholar Gerda Lerner

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Things that made me sad today when I had to think about them:

When I bike home from work it’s difficult (my bike has no gears and it is uphill) and on hotter days I have to take a break because of my asthma. There are no sidewalks so I have to do this on a shady spot on the road a little bit out of the way. A man will always slow down in his car and stop. Always. It happens literally every time.  And they mean well so far… until one doesn’t, you know? So these are the awful things that occurred to me today when I was waiting for my daily horrifying interaction:

  • I’m stopped here because it is 80 degrees and I am overheating, but I’m also wearing spaghetti straps. Should I put my sweater back on?
  • I have to be firm enough to assure any man who stops that I am just resting and they should drive on, but not so firm to be perceived as “bitchy.”
  • I have to be cheerful enough to sound grateful but I am tired and it is hard to make my voice nonthreatening to a fragile and potentially dangerous male ego when I want to be left alone to drink my water and catch my breath in peace.

The thing is, women never pull over. Because they know that if I needed help I would be actively seeking it. But men see me and think they need to “just check up on me” and every single time it is terrifying.

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via Modern Office with Christina Hendricks

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Fed up with abusive husbands and corrupt officials, India’s poorest women are banding together, taking up arms, and fighting back. Even more shocking than the pink saris they wear: Their quest for justice is actually working.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION this post neglected to tell you:

The name of this gang is : The Gulabi Gang (The Pink Gang)

They are a group of vigilantes and activists who fight against corrupt policemen and politicians, abusive husbands, work toward fighting child marriages, dowry demands and abusive in-laws 

The Gulabi gang was founded by Sampat Pal Devi, a mother of five and former government health worker (as well as a former child bride), as a response to widespread domestic abuse and other violence against women.

In 2008, they stormed an electricity office in Banda district and forced officials to turn back on the power they had cut in order to extract bribes. They have also stopped child marriages and protested dowry and female illiteracy.

Gulabis visit abusive husbands and threaten to beat them with laathis (sticks) unless they stop abusing their wives.

In the span of five years, the group has grown into a powerful brigade of more than 20,000 women, including 10 district commanders, who run the gang’s outposts across the district of Bundelkhand—an area that spans 36,000 square miles- which is where they originated from. 

For many women in India, the Pink Gang is their last hope for justice. But as the group has grown in size and power, so too have their opponents.

Today Pal doesn’t just take on abusive husbands, she challenges corrupt policemen and dishonest politicians—often putting her group in the center of controversy.

Pal (Founder) worked to help a 17-year-old girl, Sheelu Nishad, who’d been gang-raped by a group of men, including one she identified as a member of the local legislature, Purushottam Dwivedi.

Nishad went to the police, but instead of being questioned, she was arrested—it turned out her attacker had already called the police, accusing her of theft. Her father went to Pal for help.
“I was nervous and crying and somebody suggested I go to the gang,” says the frail elderly man. Pal organized an agitation in front of the police station, and later in front of Dwivedi’s house.
So effective was her intervention that Dwivedi was arrested, and Rahul Gandhi, the heir to the Gandhi family’s political throne, traveled the 370 miles from New Delhi to meet the girl. “She is a very good lady,” Nishad says of Pal. “She has told the world about my plight.”

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This series is BRILLANT.  And all made by the same woman.

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"It seems that when you want to make a woman into a hero, you hurt her first. When you want to make a man into a hero, you hurt… also a woman first."

Leigh Alexander absolutely hits it out of the park (via bedabug)

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"Men always say that as the defining compliment: the Cool Girl. She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means that I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.
Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see these men - friends, coworkers, strangers - giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them. I’d want to grab the poor guy by his lapels or messenger bag and say: The bitch doesn’t really love chili dogs that much - no one loves chili dogs that much! And the Cool Girls are even more pathetic: They’re not even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be the woman a man wants them to be. Oh, and if you’re not a Cool Girl, I beg you not to believe that your man doesn’t want the Cool Girl. It may be a slightly different version - maybe he’s a vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he’s a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t ever complain. (How do you know you’re not Cool Girl? Because he says things like: ‘I like strong women.’ If he says that to you, he will at some point fuck someone else. Because ‘I like strong women’ is code for ‘I hate strong women.’)
I waited patiently - years - for the pendulum to swing the other way, for men to start reading Jane Austen, learn how to knit, pretend to like cosmos, organize scrapbook parties, and make out with each other while we leer. And then we’d say, Yeah, he’s a Cool Guy.
But it never happened. Instead, women across the nation colluded in our degradation! Pretty soon Cool Girl became the standard girl. Men believed she existed - she wasn’t just a dreamgirl one in a million. Every girl was supposed to be this girl, and if you weren’t, then there was something wrong with you."

Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn. (via the-library-and-step-on-it)

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Call for Papers: Moving Women, Moving Objects (300-1500) (ICMA CAA 2015) - Medievalists.net


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A List of “Men’s Rights” Issues That Feminism Is Already Working On

Feminists do not want you to lose custody of your children. The assumption that women are naturally better caregivers is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not like commercials in which bumbling dads mess up the laundry and competent wives have to bustle in and fix it. The assumption that women are naturally better housekeepers is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want you to have to make alimony payments. Alimony is set up to combat the fact that women have been historically expected to prioritize domestic duties over professional goals, thus minimizing their earning potential if their “traditional” marriages end. The assumption that wives should make babies instead of money is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want anyone to get raped in prison. Permissiveness and jokes about prison rape are part of rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want anyone to be falsely accused of rape. False rape accusations discredit rape victims, which reinforces rape culture, which is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want you to be lonely and we do not hate “nice guys.” The idea that certain people are inherently more valuable than other people because of superficial physical attributes is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want you to have to pay for dinner. We want the opportunity to achieve financial success on par with men in any field we choose (and are qualified for), and the fact that we currently don’t is part of patriarchy. The idea that men should coddle and provide for women, and/or purchase their affections in romantic contexts, is condescending and damaging and part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want you to be maimed or killed in industrial accidents, or toil in coal mines while we do cushy secretarial work and various yarn-themed activities. The fact that women have long been shut out of dangerous industrial jobs (by men, by the way) is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want you to commit suicide. Any pressures and expectations that lower the quality of life of any gender are part of patriarchy. The fact that depression is characterized as an effeminate weakness, making men less likely to seek treatment, is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want you to be viewed with suspicion when you take your child to the park (men frequently insist that this is a serious issue, so I will take them at their word). The assumption that men are insatiable sexual animals, combined with the idea that it’s unnatural for men to care for children, is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want you to be drafted and then die in a war while we stay home and iron stuff. The idea that women are too weak to fight or too delicate to function in a military setting is part of patriarchy.

Feminists do not want women to escape prosecution on legitimate domestic violence charges, nor do we want men to be ridiculed for being raped or abused. The idea that women are naturally gentle and compliant and that victimhood is inherently feminine is part of patriarchy.

Feminists hate patriarchy. We do not hate you.

If you really care about those issues as passionately as you say you do, you should be thanking feminists, because feminism is a social movement actively dedicated to dismantling every single one of them. The fact that you blame feminists—your allies—for problems against which they have been struggling for decades suggests that supporting men isn’t nearly as important to you as resenting women. We care about your problems a lot. Could you try caring about ours?


Excerpt from If I Admit That Hating Men is a Thing, Will You Stop Turning it Into a Self-fulfilling Prophecy?, by Lindy West (via angerr)

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"We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls – you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful but not too successful otherwise you will threaten the man. Because I am female I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. A marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support. But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or for accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are."

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie  (via quarter-century-life-crisis)

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"What’s wrong with the generalization that more sex = liberation? It locates sexual liberation in an experience of white heterosexual femininity. It does not take into the account the different experiences of racialization and sexualization of women and queer people of color. While straight middle-class women may have been stereotyped as pure, asexual virgins, women of color were hypersexualized as exotic, erotic beings (see hottentot, harem girl, lotus blossom, fiery Latina, squaw, etc.) For women of color and queer POC, adopting a sex-positive attitude does not “liberate” them of such stereotypes, in fact, it fuels them further. In addition, sex-positivity does not offer a critique of capitalism and the way our sexualities are commodified and exploited, preventing “free expression” of sex, in the favorite words of sex-positive feminists."

Sex Positivity isn’t so Positive (via otipemisiwak)

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"Women aged 15-44 are more likely to be maimed or die from male violence than cancer, traffic accidents, and war combined."

Feminist talk at Students For Liberty’s 2013 Austin Regional Conference and why feminism is not outdated (via cuntcastle)

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